Nuclear Technology

The Nuclear Operations Technology Program at Columbia Basin College (CBC) offers students the opportunity to learn the skills required to work in a large variety of Nuclear and Energy Generation Facilities. 

  • Nuclear Power Plant and Processing Facility Operations 
  • Plant Maintenance Technicians 
  • Radiation Protection
  • Waste Management
  • Nuclear Fuel Fabrication 
  • Research Facilities.  

To ensure that the CBC Nuclear Technology program is aligned with the needs of the nuclear power industry we work closely with the nuclear industry.

  • Locally we partner with Energy Northwest and DOE Hanford.
  • Nationally our program is based on the Nuclear Uniform Curriculum Program (NUCP) requirements established by the Nuclear Industry and accredited though the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO). 
  • We meet both INPO and Dept. of Energy standards establish for Nuclear workers
Degrees and Certifications

There are many options within the Nuclear Power Technology program at CBC. Students pursuing a Nuclear Technology Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree can choose any one of the following specialties (tracks):

  • Radiation Protection Technology
  • Non-Licensed Operator’s*
  • Instrumentation & Control Technology*

* Non-Licensed Operator and Instrumentation & Control Technology students will learn transferable skills that allow them to also build a career in vital industries such as 

  • Energy Generation (wind, hydro, gas and oil)
  • Process Operations
  • Manufacturing.

Students working toward an Associate of Applied Science degree can:

  • earn a one-year certificate in Nuclear Technology upon successful completion of their first-year requirements. 
  • Graduates who qualify may also earn the industry recognized National Academy for Nuclear Training (NANT) Certificate.
About the Program
  • The program is cohort based, a new group of students start each fall quarter. 
  • Not all courses will be offered each quarter. 
  • You will need to work with a Completion Coach to devise a degree plan.
    • Your quarter-by-quarter plan will be created based on your previous educational achievements and the requirements still necessary to complete the desired degree.
    • In order to complete the degree within 2 years you will have to take classes in all 4 quarters of the year. 

Career Connect Washington Endorsed Logo CBC works closely with the nuclear industry, both locally and nationally. As one of 25 Nuclear Uniform Curriculum Programs (NUCP) in the U.S., CBC and Energy Northwest partner to ensure that the CBC Nuclear Technology program is aligned with the needs of the nuclear power industry. This includes ensuring the program offerings are consistent with the established standards for accredited utility training programs so that all graduates have the same basic knowledge necessary to be successful power plant workers.


Academic Prerequisites

  • To be considered for CBC's Nuclear Technology program, you must complete the placement test in MATH&141: Pre-Calculus 
  • Taking the ENGL&101: English Composition placement test is recommended but not required:
  • Qualified students will be evaluated and accepted into the Nuclear Technology program after meeting with a CTE Completion Coach.
Program Objectives
  • Graduates of the CBC Nuclear Technology program will learn about:
    • Nuclear Math and Physics
    • Nuclear Chemistry
    • Nuclear Safety
    • Reactor Plant Systems
    • Reactor Plant Operations
    • Nuclear Facilities
    • Radiation Fundamentals
    • Radiation Safety
    • Electricity Generation and power transmission
    • Instrumentation and Controls Theory
  • Many of the courses will include hands-on lab activities to improve understanding and further develop the skills necessary for a technical career
  • Students will also participate in an internship to gain real-world industry experience.
  • The AAS degree also includes General Education Courses in:
    • English Composition
    • Science
    • Mathematics
    • Human Relations
    • Communications
Nuclear & Beyond

Because the program meets both INPO and Dept. of Energy standards, graduates can work within the nuclear industry at local companies such as: 

  • Energy Northwest
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)
  • Hanford DOE
    • Bechtel National, Inc. (BNI)
    • Central Plateau Cleanup Company (CPCco)
    • Hanford Mission Integration Solutions (HMIS)
    • Washington River Protection Solutions LLC (WRPS)
    • Hanford Laboratory Management and Integration, LLC (HLMI) a partnership of Navarro and Advanced Technologies and Laboratories International, Inc. (ATL)

Apply Today!

  • Award amounts vary
  • Application deadline was February 21, 2020. Applicants will be notified of awards in May with awards being applied in Fall of 2020.
  • Applicants can be current or prospective students intending to enroll full-time (12 credits).
  • $2,000 to $4,000 awards
  • Students who have completed an NUCP program and are interested in completing a bachelor's degree in nuclear engineering, nuclear energy engineering, electronics systems engineering, electronics engineering or radiation protection
  • Thomas Edison State College Matriculation Scholarship application; no deadline
  • Scholars may be awarded up to $1,500 per quarter
  • Individual applications must be submitted for fall, winter and spring quarters
  • Funds are flexible, may be used for tuition, fees, housing, transportation, food and more
  • WSOS Application, next round due Feb. 11, 2021

Program Learning Outcomes for the Nuclear Technology AAS

Program learning outcomes are the knowledge, skills, and abilities that students will achieve before they graduate. The outcomes below were developed by the faculty in Nuclear Technology with input from accrediting bodies, advisory committees, employers, etc. This collaboration ensures that the outcomes are relevant for careers that this degree leads to.

Students who graduate with an AAS in Nuclear Technology will be able to:

  1. Apply relevant theory and techniques from Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry to effectively understand, communicate, and/or operate, nuclear systems, structures and components promoting excellence and safety.
  2. Effectively and accurately apply, understand and communicate nuclear technology related concepts.
  3. Effectively and accurately apply, understand, and communicate basic knowledge of nuclear facilities operations.
  4. Understand nuclear fundamentals, systems, tools and equipment.
  5. Apply skills pertinent to each discipline minimizing personnel exposure to radiation and/or hazardous materials.  
  6. Apply, understand, and communicate radiological protection theory and techniques promoting excellence and safety.
  7. Understand and communicate nuclear facilities, design, theory and/or operations.


CCTE Building